Calvin John Ward

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Calvin John Ward
Born (1899-10-30)October 30, 1899
Greene County, Tennessee
Died December 15, 1967(1967-12-15) (aged 68)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Private First Class
Unit U.S. 117th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars World War I
*Meuse-Argonne Offensive

Calvin John Ward (October 30, 1899–December 15, 1967), was a soldier in the United States Army National Guard who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I.


Calvin John Ward was born on October 30, 1899 in Greene County, Tennessee and lived in Morristown, Tennessee. Ward entered active duty with the United States Army's 117th Regiment from the Tennessee National Guard during World War I. On October 8, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Ward's company was stopped near Estrées, France by a German machine gun position. Ward and Sergeant James Ernest Karnes, deciding they had "had all they could take" of this situation, fixed bayonets, charged and captured the position. This freed their company to advance against German lines in the last major offensive of the war. Both men received the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism in this action.

Calvin Ward died on December 15, 1967 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery Sullivan, Tennessee.


Military records from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Portugal attribute the following medals to Calvin John Ward:

Medal of Honor, British Distinguished Conduct Medal 31JAN1919, French Croix de Guerre w/ Palm 13APR1919, French Medaille Militaire 5MAY1919, Montenegran Medaille de Bravoure w/ Palm 25JUN1919, Portuguese Cruz de Gurra 3rd Class 6DEC1921, Italian Croce di Guerra 9DEC1921, Belgian Decoration, Russian Decoration

Medal of Honor Citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company D, 117th Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: Near Estrees, France, October 8, 1918. Entered service at: Morristown, Tenn. Born: October 1898, Green County, Tenn. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.


During an advance, Pvt. Ward's company was held up by a machinegun, which was enfilading the line. Accompanied by a noncommissioned officer, he advanced against this post and succeeded in reducing the nest by killing 3 and capturing 7 of the enemy and their guns.</blockquote

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